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30 December 2013

Daily Ambivalence - Flat Earth Society

I once heard that the membership cards the Flat Earth Society hands out are round. That would seem a little self-contradictory, but the card is still flat so I suppose it's okay.

I wonder what you have to do to become a member? Probably isn't that easy. Think about it. Being a member of the Flat Earth Society puts you in a very exclusive club. In that there aren't very many members.

Are you a member of the Flat Earth Society? Of course not. Loser.

I've just got to get my hands on one of those round cards.

Or a donut. A donut would be sweet too.

Flat Earth Society . . . eh.

27 December 2013

Daily Ambivalence - old black pen

This is about the pen that was replaced.

Which, if you had some way of reading the first draft of this post you would see I am writing using the new blue pen. Which is ironic and possibly even cruel if black pens have feelings.

Two questions spring from this; the first of course is whether black pens have feelings; the second and possibly more controversial one is if black pens have feelings, should I even care?
Back there in the corner, behind those one things

One could infer from this that I am prejudiced against black pens. Which is ridiculous. Pink, yes, and yellow, yes, but black pens deserve just as much consideration for inclusions into the Bic Pen Best in Show competition as blue ones. I'm on board with that.

To be honest, this year I'm pushing for the Silver No. 281. I even put money on it in Las Vegas. 7 to 1 odds. But if a black pen won I wouldn't throw a fit.

Yeah, nothing says the holidays like the Bic Pen Best in Show competition. I think the ESPN 2 Bold Twelve Pack is picking it up this year. Not sure if my cable has that one.

Old black pen . . . eh.

19 December 2013

Audio of 2013 Christmas story

I am boldly going where hundreds of thousands have gone before.

Here is my first podcast, a reading of my Christmas story for this year. About seven years ago my wife suggested I write a Christmas story every year and then we could bind it and give it out as gifts to family and friends. There have been no book burning parties hosted by neighbors, so I am taking that as a positive thing.

From my family to you, Merry Christmas.

18 December 2013

Daily Ambivalence - I brake for reindeer

If this were Death Race, how many points?
Not that I've ever seen one, but if there was a bumper sticker that said I Brake For Reindeer that would be pretty stupid.

Who wouldn't brake for reindeer? Have you seen those things? They're huge.

I guess the point of the bumper sticker would be Santa-based if it exists. You don't want to tick off Santa this time of year. But really, if Santa's going to refuse to bring me a present again this year because of a few indiscretions on my part, well, I can buy my own present.

That whole naughty list thing is a form of blackmail when you think about it.

I brake for reindeer . . . eh.

16 December 2013

Daily Ambivalence - Christmas cards

Yesterday I got a card in the mail that featured a family so homely it's a wonder they have the audacity to send pictures of themselves in the mail.

Is that unkind for me to say?

I mean, I'm leaving any description of the family purposefully vague. The odds are they won't know this post is about them. They apparently never look in the mirror. If you are that homely and send pictures of yourself to other people, you don't know that you are homely.

If I was that homely I would send a picture of Justin Bieber with my holiday greetings. Not to fool anybody. People would obviously know it wasn't me, but it would be a nice picture. I think they would appreciate that.

I wonder if I should write this family a letter explaining this? You know, to save them embarrassment next year. Not sure.

Christmas cards . . . eh.

12 December 2013

Daily Ambivalence - 8th voyage of Sinbad

I wish they would make a movie about Sinbad's 8th voyage. It would make a great holiday movie.

Not too many people realize that Sinbad had a lousy sense of direction, which is how he ended up in the North Pole on his 8th voyage. Sinbad and Santa Claus had this really tense game of high stakes poker and Santa won because he cheats at cards.

And that's likely why you will never see a movie about Sinbad's 8th voyage. The powers that be don't want kids to know that Santa cheats when it comes to card games.

I say, big deal. Can't you just see that scene where Sinbad fights the ice skeletons? It would be epic. 

But no, we can't admit to little children that Santa Claus has a gambling problem.

Some people just can't handle reality.

8th voyage of Sinbad . . . eh.

10 December 2013

Daily Ambivalence - new blue pen

I have a new blue pen.

If you could hear me write this it would probably sound  the same as if I said - I have a new blue Porsche.

In case you were wondering - not mine
I like my blue pen.

It fits in in my hand just fine and when I write, the line feels smooth and effortless. The words lodged in my head will shake loose with this pen and seed worlds undiscovered. This vial of ink will outflow and paint the thousand words lost in pictures, without number spin an ever expanding universe that a paltry Porsche would never contain.

Who am I kidding? I'd take a Porsche.

New blue pen . . . eh.

06 December 2013

Daily Ambivalence - televisions in minivans

That minivan in front of me has one of those televisions that swings down from the ceiling.

You kind of get desperate in a car. I've got a 65" screen downstairs in my basement, but it's, well, it's in my basement at my house and right now I'm in my car. What's the screen in front of me - calculating for distance and all - 3"?

Actual photo. Actual blood.
And what the hell are they watching? It's a Disney thing, but it's not Tangled. I like Tangled. This is one of those live action things. Waverly Magicians or something like that.

This totally sucks. I can't stop watching the screen up there in front of me but it's Waverly Magicians. My eyes might start bleeding in a few seconds but there's nothing I can do. I'm stuck in a car and twenty feet away there's a TV on. No other choice but to watch.

Freakin soccer moms. I'll bet they do this on purpose. I'll bet there aren't even any kids in the minivan, and if there are they are begging her to change the channel, but she won't. Sadist.

I can just see a bit of her face in the side mirror.

She looks hot.

Televisions in minivans . . . eh.

04 December 2013

Elevator pitch pithy

Sometimes I wonder if a horror story called Brave Ballerinas would do that well.

You kind of have to ask the question - what exactly would the ballerina do that was brave?

I don't think standing on your toes for extended periods of time is brave.

Maybe if you're fat it would be considered brave that you are wearing one of those leotards. Maybe just foolish.

If you were a brave ballerina, would you get a reward for being brave, maybe a ticker tape parade? I don't think they have ticker tape parades anymore. The Romanians always made the best ticker tape, but they stopped making it in the 70s.

02 December 2013

Daily Ambivalence - leaves that turn yellow

It occurs to me that the leaves of some trees turn yellow in the fall. Like that tree over there on the side of the road.

Maybe you've noticed this before.

Boris and friends
Writers quite often wax poetic about the annual event of leaves turning yellow. They use it to make metaphors or similes about death.

Except that the trees don't die when their leaves fall off. They just drop their leaves. That's not death, is it? When it happens every year? I mean, every year. C'mon.

Take my cat, Boris. If Boris died every year I would kind of get sick of it. Make up your mind, I would probably think.

Leaves that turn yellow . . . eh.

28 November 2013

A bacon-wrapped pithy

I wonder if young comic book fans appreciate the golden age they live in?

Super heroes are freaking everywhere. Movies. TV. Conventions. Nowadays you can't pee without hitting a super hero. Pardon my French.

When you think of super heroes it's natural to ask yourself what kind of super power you would want if you could chose. Right now I would choose Pac Man power.

I'm sitting in front of a table right now and my mom surprised me with a bacon-wrapped turkey. It was a 30 lb. turkey with 10 lbs. of bacon and so you wouldn't think I'd struggle with that. Thing is, I filled up on pie beforehand.

I don't know how Pac Man does it. He eats all those ghosts and dots. Ghosts probably aren't all that filling, but the dots? Where does he put all those?

That's what I want. Pac Man power. That would be great.

27 November 2013

Daily Ambivalence - pilgrims ate popcorn

Pie, as everyone knows, is the best part of Thanksgiving.

Putting that aside. What can you say about all the food people typically eat on the 4th Thursday of November?

I have a coworker who is going to have a bacon-wrapped turkey tomorrow. This sparked a discussion about bacon and combining bacon with other meats.

Dude, the card is in mint condition
Is there any combination of bacon and (fill in the blank with some form of meat) that doesn't see a substantial improvement in overall taste and succulent red or white protein goodness? To me, when it comes to even the most compromised homemaker, bacon-wrapped turkey sounds like the perfect solution for achieving success. How can you mess up bacon wrapped turkey? It's impossible.

My coworker friend said he would take a picture of the bacon-wrapped turkey to show us what it looks like, but I think he was just bragging.

So that brings us to popcorn. My 11-year-old came home yesterday and said he learned in school that the pilgrims ate popcorn on the first Thanksgiving.

What are they teaching our kids in schools? How stupid do they think we are? And besides, saying the pilgrims ate popcorn on the first Thanksgiving is just mean.

Sure Orville Redenbacher the inventor of popcorn looked old, but he wasn't that old. And he's dead. So he can't really defend himself against such slander. Saying he was old enough to be there with the first pilgrims is like beating a dead horse. Only you're beating an old dead guy wearing a bow tie.

I'd give my 11-year-old's teacher a piece of my mind, but I swore I'd never go back to grade school and I meant it.

Pilgrims ate popcorn . . . eh.

26 November 2013

Daily Ambivalence - Christmas music in November

If you start listening to Christmas music in November you will totally hate the song The Christmas Shoes by the time . . . well, by your first listen, actually.

That was a bad example. I should have chosen a classic like Bing Crosby's White Christmas. Yeah, that one. You know the one where you can totally see Danny Kaye standing next to Bing in the radio.

If you start listening to Christmas music in November you will be sick of White Christmas by Christmas. No one should do this.

Take me. I've been listening to Christmas music for a week now. I'm not sick of White Christmas yet but I've had my fill of You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch.

It's sad.

Christmas music in November . . . eh.

25 November 2013

Daily Ambivalence - words that rhyme with poem


In thinking about this entry it occurs to me that rhyming things isn't a talent I value. Poetry that rhymes usually sounds trivial to me. And it's harder to write.


When I write poetry I don't like to be fettered by unnatural restrictions or rules. Those things demand talent. It's better just to pull a paragraph from something you wrote and then use hard return in an unconventional way.


To conclude, the only people making money today for rhyming are rappers. I've got no street cred so even if I worked harder at rhyming that option is not open to me. [hard return]


Words that rhyme with poem . . . eh.

22 November 2013

Daily Ambivalence - weeds

For lots of people the word "weed" has a negative connotation.

However, for people with dreadlocks saying weed is a lot like saying bacon-wrapped bacon.

Remember that one Saturday Night Live skit? This rastafarian-type guy who runs a novelty shop and any time a customer brings an item to him and asks what it does he takes it and says "You put your weed in it." Doesn't matter what it is. You put your weed in it.

I think I was a teenager when that skit was showing. For that very reason I found the skit endlessly amusing.

But I'm older now. More mature.

I happen to be at a novelty shop looking at a strange item in the back of the store. It's kind of a wavy box thing with three handles and some leather strings that come out of holes on the side. Somebody glued marbles and what appears to be pencil shavings on the top. I have not idea what it's for. Where's that novelty shop owner when you need him?

Weeds . . . eh.

19 November 2013

Daily Ambivalence - baker's dozen

You know that old saying where someone says you should never trust a skinny chef?

I've always liked that saying because usually fat people are the ones who get discriminated against.

I don't know what the first guy who said this had against skinny chefs. I like to think it was something like a brother and sister who grew up hating each other because one of them liked country music and the other liked rock 'n roll. The sister opens a barbecue ribs restaurant and the brother, who has a band, asks to play there one Saturday night but the sister says no because she has already signed a banjo quartet. So they stop speaking to each other, but then years later when they have families of their own his daughter and her son fall in love, but it is forbidden love because they are first cousins.

And because their parents hate each other.

It's sad.

Still, the brother should never have trusted the sister in the beginning, but not because she didn't like his band or because she was skinny. It comes down to the whole baker's dozen thing. Ask any chef how many in a dozen and they'll probably tell you 13. That's just wrong.

You can't trust a chef. Skinny or fat.

Baker's dozen . . . eh.

18 November 2013

Words what folks don't say right

Some people don't pronounce words correctly.

Like the other day I met a guy who didn't know the correct way to pronounce the colored sticks Crayola makes. Instead of saying crayon like cranberry minus the vitamin C, he said crayon like he was just returning from a science fiction convention and still had a Klingon phrase stuck in his throat, something like heghlu'meh QaQ jajvam.

Not that I have anything against Klingons. Or Star Trek in general, though I still think it was strange when Tasha Yar went down to that planet in episode 23 and died unexpectedly. She wasn't wearing a red shirt.

Dogs and cats living together.

13 November 2013

Daily Ambivalence - Cheerios and rasins

My kids think I'm weird because I put raisins in my Cheerios.

When I was young I was a bit anal retentive with Cheerios and raisins. I needed to have one raisin with every spoonful of Cheerios and I admit that was weird.

But now I can have two even three raisins with a spoonful of Cheerios and that's no big whoop.

Just so that I tap my right foot on the floor once for every raisin while I chew. That and recite the original 13 colonies alphabetically backwards in my head. And hum the chorus of Eleanor Rigby in the key of C#.

So, huge strides.

Cheerios and raisins . . . eh.

11 November 2013

Daily Ambivalence - killing time

I'm not one who normally agrees with most of the people but sometimes I do agree with some of the people.

Some of the people say that the English language leans a little heavy on the violent metaphors. I agree with those people.

Take killing time. I would be more comfortable if the saying was "framing time," like for murder. Not that I need to frame anybody for murder. I'm not saying that. Pending charges aside.

Anyways, I think framing time is a much better saying than killing time.

Killing time . . . eh.

08 November 2013

Six Christmas Stories

My collection of Christmas stories is on sale for the next few days. $0.99.

That's one McSpicy without the sales tax.

07 November 2013

There was that dream about fresh strawberries

There was that dream about fresh strawberries where Willie Wonka was going on about snozberries but whoever heard of a snozberry and I pretended to be Mike TV to get into the chocolate factory and it occurred to me that it wasn't likely that someone named TV should be such a freak about TV except that my friend Stevie Iphone likes to say "you can pry my iPhone from my cold dead hands" so maybe it isn't all that far-fetched and it made me sad because my name is Edwards not video game or gambling habit so there isn't much chance that my name will ever be descriptive of who I am unless someone invents something really cool and decides
to call it an edwards.

Which would be really great. I'm just saying.

04 November 2013

Daily Ambivalence - bobbing for apples

So, uh, the kid holding the mirror
is naked too.
Back in the day, way before there were 7-11s, candy and sweets were sucky enough that when you played the game Bobbing for Apples and won, the prize was just the apple you had in your mouth. Even though, as a result of the game, the apple was now smeared with facial grease from the other people playing the game.

Kind of surprising when you consider how Rubenesque things were back then. Peter Paul Rubens is the dude you can thank for us knowing what Rubenesque means. No Peter Paul and Mary reference there, nor was he the inventor of the Ruben Sandwich. He was a painter and it is because of him that we know everyone was fat back then. When you say someone is Rubenesque nowadays it's a euphemism for sloppy fat.

Which, again, is just inconceivable because the stores back then didn't carry any good candy. Someone with a sweet tooth was relegated to their choice of Red Delicious or Jonagold. Or both. Dude, they must have been eating apples by the wagon load.

Bobbing for apples . . . eh.

31 October 2013

For the 3rd year, my favorite Halloween poem

Hollow Cavity
rot of ages could not enlarge,
then and now no heart knew compassion.
I was that murderer, that blank stare,
the beast inhuman villagers burned,
tale parents spun for truant children,
terror at night,
her eyes wide, sightless in the dark.

I the coward's knife from behind
tracing his second smile,
the hard unflinching fingers at her neck,
the menace in the shadows,
unseen, unblinking, unwavering,
waiting for the moment,
that instant of inattention.

Your Kind buried me,
and buries still,
when you find me.
Yet here I wait.

Feast of abundance.
Docile herd
upon which I feed.

I linger in my unmarked grave,
listening beneath your home,
lying aside the path you walk,
crouching outside the chain link fence,
one step from a window,
a face in the dark to view.

Look at me,
You, perched atop society's pedestal.
I am in the crowd

waiting for the world to end.

28 October 2013

Halloween Poem 2013

missing now, this night
ghoul in mask or made up,
character, creature, hero or villain
all hailed, all rewarded,
to my house and handed candy,
their scare a lie or wink
on world's stage tonight,
waning fall new in my home,
my handful, then they away
across and down yon dead end street,
his house not dark tonight but
lit like visiting carnival,
and they an ardent, careful flow
one way,
my unworthy thought
of all amiss, I dismiss
then provide more sweets,
watch the little vampire
scurry to the unknown house
an open maw
a hurried end.

where do they go?

25 October 2013

Soylent Green

Yeah, it's people
I like to tell people I like soylent green because when I say I like soylent green the people listening can't tell if I like soylent green the substance or Soylent Green the movie.

I'm glad life is so uncertain.

I'm glad our food supply is likewise riddled with uncertainty. That thing you're eating, is it corn-based? Soy? Pork? Chicken? All or none of the above? Does it matter?

The last time you ate a hotdog, did you ask the guy at the store what was in it?

Of course not.

I love soylent green.

22 October 2013

Daily Ambivalence - orange juice with pulp

"If I wanted pulp I'd eat an orange."

That's what a guy who doesn't like pulp would say.

I like pulp. It reminds me of the time in Australia when it was the future and I was mad because some post-Apocalyptic thugs dressed in studded leather had killed my wife and so I got in my car and went on a rampage and took my revenge and when I was done I went home and opened up the fridge to get a nice tall glass of . . .

Hold on a minute. That was a movie.

Never mind. I hate pulp in my orange juice.

If I wanted pulp I'd eat an orange.

Orange juice with pulp . . . eh.

17 October 2013

Daily Ambivalence - cactus seat cushions

I don't think the cactus seat cushion market is all that huge.

I mean, what a bummer if you go help a neighbor move and all the guy owns is cactus furniture, right?
You get used to it after a while

You'd have to be stupid to buy cactus furniture.

Only, my brother used to sit on cactus plants all the time when he was little. My mom and dad are from a small town in southern Utah and when we were kids, any visit to Milford meant a Saturday afternoon out in the sagebrush shooting jackrabbits. And my brother would always find a cactus plant and sit on it.

I don't know why he did this. He wasn't  slow, not then, but he sat on a cactus every time even though the end result was tears.

This makes me think that maybe there's a cactus furniture niche market out there somewhere. I mean, I would never buy a cactus love seat. Not for myself. But maybe for my brother. For Christmas. Or his birthday.

Cactus seat cushions . . . eh.

14 October 2013

Daily Ambivalence - walking on salmon

That sounds like a tagline for a motivational speaker new on the circuit and pushing his latest book.

It isn't, but if you are a motivational speaker and looking for a tagline, feel free.

Just run faster than the guy next to you
Back in the late 80s I spent a summer in Alaska living in a tent by night and core-drilling by day. It was a cool experience and I have lots of fun stories.

One day in the helicopter flying to our drilling site we flew over a stream that was so choked with salmon it looked like you could cross the stream walking on their backs.

The helicopter pilot, Ray, wouldn't stop for me to see and so that has remained a question for me.

I weighed a lot less back then so I think I could have done it.

Which in turn makes me wish I could lose a few pounds. But I can't because I like to eat. Especially salmon. Which is ironic, seeing as how I think I could walk on salmon if I didn't like to eat salmon so much.

I think that's one of those what you call catch 22s.

Life if weird.

Walking on salmon . . . eh.

10 October 2013

Daily Ambivalence - bad Chinese food

I've never actually had bad Chinese food so I'm not sure where this DA is going.

There's that one fish called fugu that is poisonous except for certain parts and a Chinese Food chef has to be an expert in order to offer it on the menu.

Once upon a time there was the very first man (or woman)
who ate fugu. This is what they saw. I, uh . . . what?
There aren't very many of these chefs in the entire universe. I've heard the reason for this is because the final test before becoming an expert fugu chef is that you have to eat the first meal you prepare.

Kind of sad. I had a brother who went to school for fugu fish preparation. I forget his name.

Aside from that I don't know anybody who has died from eating ill-prepared fugu, but I really don't have that many friends.

If I went to a Chinese restaurant and ordered the fugu dish and it was poisonous and I died, I suppose that could be characterized as bad Chinese food.

I'm probably just never going to order fugu at a restaurant.

Bad Chinese food . . . eh.

07 October 2013

Fun Halloween poem

Dug that hole in my backyard today,
trowel in hand, small black hole
where earlier this year tomatoes grew.

I buried that chicken bone.
Not dry and dead,
greasy dead, remnants of dinner
pieces hidden, clinging to tendon,
knuckle, all dead meat all dead bone
all the same and buried in my backyard,
covered and smothered in soil I'll use
to nourish other food.

Nighttime now,
my body of flesh covered and smothered
by blanket and pillow,
I see, my open eyes tracking shadows,
my mind centered on bones buried,
bones that should rightly move only
as decay and the worm wiggle,
but out there at midnight move of their own,
greased in gardening,
unsmothering, moving slow at first,
no mind to understand,
nevermind soothing then inflicting, infuriating
some semblance of purpose, writhing bone
this night will quest, will grow dry and snap
and reform and snap and a victim die, and another,
all born of consumption,
dry bones slake take,
from my garden first,

marking the end of all and all.

Daily Ambivalence - eating Chinese food and not using chopsticks

Yes, basically just two pointy sticks
Some people think you should never eat Chinese food unless you use chopsticks.

Like me.

I'm not Asian, but I have pretty strong feelings about this.

A number of years ago, before I met my friend Annie, instead of saying "I'm not Asian" I might have said "I'm not Oriental."

I could make a joke here about Annie correcting me on my use of Oriental instead of Asian via karate chop, but that would be making a similar mistake. Not all Asians know karate. Just the last three I picked a fight with.

So back to chopsticks. Let's face it. There really aren't any circumstances under which using chopsticks is more efficient than using a fork or spoon. So why should you eat Chinese food with chopsticks?

Here's a better question. Why do some white board cleaners smell like vomit after you use them?

Food for thought.

Eating Chinese food and not using chopsticks . . . eh.

30 September 2013

Daily Ambivalence - saying "God Bless You" when someone sneezes

It seems strange that someone needs to be blessed just because they have allergies.

For that reason, I suspect Spring is probably God's least favorite time of the year. Someone sneezes. Someone says "God Bless You." And here comes God because someone asked for him and it's just a stupid allergy.

Sometimes I wonder if praying to God too much is a little like kids calling 9-1-1 and jamming up the line. Someone else calls because they have a severed head but gets put on hold.

I guess people are just trying to be polite but they should really think about what they are doing.

This next April when you say "God Bless You" to the guy sitting next to you on the bus, you better hope there isn't a story in the paper the next day about meteor showers in London knocking down Big Ben. Totally your fault.

Saying "God Bless You" when someone sneezes . . . eh.

22 September 2013

Daily Ambivalence - you smell like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup

If you have ever used that to insult a person then I question your insulting ability.

Insults work best when you say that someone is a bad thing and most people like the smell of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

That's why so often you hear poop or fart slurs when it comes to insults. Very few people want to be a poop or a fart.

You see?

Frankly, I'm a little surprised that something this obvious needed to be addressed. But there you go.

You smell like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup . . . eh.

19 September 2013

Daily Ambivalence - major awards

Leg lamps aside, a major award is typically presented to an individual when he or she accomplishes something noteworthy.

Only, I don't think we as a society are all that good at establishing the boundaries around actual "noteworthy" acts.

Take saving a busload of children from an oncoming train.

Now saving a busload of children is great. I'm not denigrating bus saving. I'm just pushing the idea that saving a busload of children might not be noteworthy. At least not major award noteworthy.

Stop reading this and pick up the newspaper lying there next to you. There on B2. Busload of children saved. Happens all the time. It didn't even make the front page.

Noteworthy should be one-of-a-kind territory.

Just give it to me in a glass
Like the person who invented the Mexican sauce called mole. Do you think he or she got a major award for that? We don't even know who it was! The inventor of mole!

I rest my case.

Major awards . . . eh.

17 September 2013

Daily Ambivalence - proliferation of different fonts

Dude, I'm not going to use
Broadway for the first edition
of the Gutenberg Bible
From the genesis of printing presses, people with the urge to be different started creating fonts, (i.e., new and more exciting ways to draw lines). I have a friend who loves fonts and has firm opinions (mark that, firm) about font choice. This friend loves names like Verdana and Garamond, Euphemia and Gungsuh, Gotham and New Baskerville.

I suppose it could be argued that different fonts are helpful for birthday cards and the like. Jokes about being mostly dead because you're 40 might look better in Fangsong than Times New Roman.

I'm not sure that's a keen enough argument to account for drop-down boxes in Word that have 10,000 options. Please give me one good reason why Tempas Sans ITC should even exist.

That's why, although I do acknowledge there could be a downside to this, I'm arguing for the establishment of an Emperor of the World.

If there was an Emperor of the World he or she could limit the allowable fonts to a number somewhere south of 2. Which would be great.

My font friend would complain for a while, but then the Emperor of the World would say something like "Off with his head!" and that would be it.

I'd buy a sympathy card for his family. The problem is, it would look just like the card about premature balding and turning 30. It's the thought that counts though, not the font.

Proliferation of different fonts . . . eh.

11 September 2013

Perfect Movie Scenes - Fringe (I know, not a movie)

Still have no idea what this means
My daughter and I have been Netflix binging on Fringe lately. A couple episodes ago there was a scene that I thought was worth mentioning on PMS.

Here's the set up:
SPOILER ALERT. Peter is the name of one of the main characters. 
Okay, that's not much of a spoiler, but here is the real spoiler. SPOILER ALERT. As you watch the seasons you find that Peter was kidnapped as a boy from a "father" from an alternate universe. This alternate father lost his own Peter (sounds funny, but not meant to be funny) to a disease and then he crossed over to the alternate universe to save Peter from the same disease and then ends up taking him back.
The PMS is what comes when the alternate father brings Peter home. In the world alternate to the one Peter came from, he meets his alternate mother. She has just burried her Peter (sounds hilarious, but again, not meant to be hilarious) but here he is again, seemingly there for her to love and cherish like nothing happened.

The look of longing in her eyes is amazing. I'm not sure something like that has ever been done better. The mother looks like she wants to inhale the boy.

As this moment was approaching, I remember thinking that the actor playing the mother would really have to bring it, and I was prepared to be disappointed. I wasn't.

This had more to do with acting than writing. It was a really good moment in the story, one that I rewound and watched again. A mother reunited with a son she just buried.

Nailed it.

09 September 2013

Boogie Fever Sign Guy

I just drove by a guy dancing and flipping a sign on the side of the road. I don't know what his name is but I suspect it's probably something like Boogie Fever Sign Guy.
I certainly lost myself to his dance

He was so good at sign flipping I felt guilty not paying for the show.

Typically I feel sorry for guys flipping signs on the side of the road. It seems to me the ultimate form of punishment for not graduating from high school.

There the guy is (I've never seen a female sign flipper), doing his show for every person in every car, all of whom only look at him from the corner of their eyes in case he looks at them. He is a neon sign flashing "I'm an adult making minimum wage." Poor sap. Every second of his long eight-hour shift there's the chance someone he knows or knew will drive by and recognize him.

"Hey, isn't that . . . " someone in the car might say, and then their words stumble to a halt. Everyone in the car looks and then feels bad because they looked and viewed a friend or acquaintance on the low side of low.

Sign flipping is insidious.

Except for Boogie Fever Sign Guy. Really, I mean, he was amazing. I did a circle around the block just to drive by him again.

I'm kind of rethinking my whole human sign prejudice now. Our society tends to venerate doctors and engineers, teachers, CEOs. Writers, of course.

Knowledge. Learning. School. Degrees. Those are all apparently good things, and flipping a sign doesn't require any of them.

But Boogie Fever Sign Guy might actually be the best sign flipper in the entire world.

I'm not the best in the world at anything.

And you know what? Boogie Fever Sign Guy looked like he was having a good time.

05 September 2013

Daily Ambivalence - Lou Ferrigno

There was that dream where Lou Ferrigno is in the make-up chair for the first time and the stylist presents him with the green wig. Lou Ferrigno protests saying that the Hulk is mostly drawn in the comic books with black hair but the stylist pleads creative liberty and that's when Lou Ferrigno reveals that he actually is a super hero. But he isn't the Hulk. He's Nick Fury in real life, though in keeping with his name he has anger management issues of his own. So he starts throwing people through walls and does some drop kicking but then he realizes that all this violence might be counterproductive if he still wants to play the part of Hulk in the television series. So he makes up a story about a tornado on the set and everybody believes him.

Somehow he still has to wear the green wig.

03 September 2013

Daily Ambivalence - people who know words that I don't know

And not just people who know words that I don't know but who actually use words that I don't know in their everyday language.

Who do those people think they are?

Like the word galifiniakis. I heard a guy use that word the other day and it sent me into a flying rage.

Shakespeare apparently had the biggest vocabulary of any writer in history. He knew lots of words that I don't know. I would have totally wasted that guy if I knew him.

It's just something about people using words that I don't know that sets me off. That's why I never visit foreign countries.

This is not Zach Galifiniakis
Anyways, back to galifiniakis. It turns out that galifiniakis is actually not so much a word as it is a name.

Which makes me feel really horrible. When I heard that guy say galifiniakis he was actually referring to an actor. I should have known that.

I just get so angry sometimes.

To conclude, I am wracked with guilt right now, but at the same time I'm glad there weren't any witnesses.

And that I burned any incriminating evidence.

People who know words that I don't know . . . eh.

29 August 2013

Pocket Hole is available

Buy Pocket Hole in paperback here through CreateSpace or on Kindle or paperback here through Amazon.

If you want a little backstory on this, uh . . . story, read on.

+Alex Bell is a friend of mine as well as a talented artist. The cover art for Pocket Hole is his. A few years ago we decided to create a graphic novel and used my novel Boo Noon for the adaptation. Boo Noon is a book, not a huge one, but still big enough that it was a challenge. Boo Noon the graphic novel was going to be really big, and we spent hundreds of hours working on the story and creating thumbnails. We re-imagined the first few chapters at least three times. Each re-imagining was amazing and did really cool things, but in the end it was too big a project.

One night, after a frustrating session, Alex called me on the phone (I think he was in his car driving home) and said that we just weren't going to get this done. We'd bitten off more than we could chew. A year-and-a-half of work wasn't going to see life.

He was right, but that didn't make it any easier. I was pretty bummed for a few minutes, but I had seen this coming. The story was just too big for two people with full-time jobs and actual lives to complete. So what we needed was a smaller story. I decided not to dwell on what wouldn't happen and thought hard that night before I went to bed about coming up with a smaller story. When I awoke the next morning, Pocket Hole was there in my mind. I hurried and wrote down all the highlights, but most everything was there.

I called Alex on the phone that day, pitched the idea, and we changed directions.

Now by me saying that the whole story was there in my mind, I don't mean to infer that what I wrote down that morning didn't change. There were lots and lots of things that Alex and I came up with as we worked on the story, great bits that fleshed out characters, lots of humor and sight gags, and even crucial plot points. The story is as much Alex's as mine.

So our goal was to attend ComicCon in San Diego in 2010, Pocket Hole in hand. After almost killing ourselves for six months we had the first issue, which covered maybe 2/5s of the story. Pocket Hole, Issue 1, was really good and we were proud of it. We went to ComicCon with high expectations, and while we had a good time, sales were less than spectacular. We were both a little deflated.

Another roadblock. This one lasted for a while. Alex and I worked on projects here and there, but Pocket Hole, Issue 2, didn't happen and it appeared it never would. We had a couple other starts and stops on other projects, but that was it. Life gets busy. Alex and I are still close friends, but the attached-at-the-hip project work doesn't happen anymore.

I love writing novels, so I wrote Alone With You Somehow and put together Six Christmas Stories, and then I thought about Pocket Hole. It was a complete story. The darn thing was thumbnailed to the end, why not adapt it to a book? Alex and I had attempted the same thing with Boo Noon but in reverse. Seemed like a good idea.

Writing Pocket Hole ended up being one of the easiest things I've done.

So, if you've read this much, I would expect you are interested enough that you picked up a copy. I hope you like it. I really think you will. It contains the best efforts of a really talented artist/storyteller and a marginally talented storyteller. Together, I think Pocket Hole turned out pretty exceptional. Let me know what you think. I welcome feedback.